The Power of Mistakes
Mistakes are the improviser’s friend. They are not bad. They are not just another chance to beat your self up. Mistakes are opportunities for discovery. Playing the mistake, making something out of it, can be a great moment in an improv. When you make a mistake, the audience laughs. Play the laugh. To often, what happens is – player makes a mistake, audience laughs, player thinks, “Oh, my god, I messed up, they are laughing at me, this is not good!” MISTAKES ARE GOOD! The mistake is a gift to you and to the audience. It shows that you are human. The audience is impressed that you have the courage to make the mistake in front of a room full of people. They are impressed and they are empathetic because every one makes mistakes and the audience identifies. The sound of their recognition and identification is laughter. Your mistake has created an EMPATHIC CONNECTION between you and the audience. Congratulations!
“An imbecile painter is painting. Color drops from his brush. A gaudy stain spreads over the page. The imbecile painter, in despair, tears up his sheet and starts over. On the contrary I am, if I may say so, a painter of talent and as the stain spreads, I smile, look hard at it, turn the sheet over and over again and, deeply moved, begin with sheer delight to take advantage of that accident. It is from that blot that inspiration is born.” — Pablo Picasso
So, when a mistake happens on stage, “DON’T LOSE IT, USE IT.”